Prepared and Powerless
Prayer time -
Intro - Intro to Luke. Second book in a series written by Luke who is commonly thought to be a physician/historian. He’s very methodical in his approach but it shouldn’t be lost that Luke is attempting to given an account of what happened to someone else, thus it’s very personal and methodical. Luke is doing a bit of investigative journalism.
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.
TR: Luke continues with the same vein of thought here in the Book of Acts....let’s begin.
What are you sure about? Certainity is a very powerful thing. To be certain of something creates all sorts of behaviors.
It changes plans, gives mental fortitude, creates opportunities that weren’t there before. What are you certain about?
The Disciples....disciplined learners, now Apostles....meaning “sent ones” were certain about the truth of Jesus Christ.
That led them to do something unheard of and base their lives on a resurrected man and a Kingdom that had never been seen.
The first book is referring to the Gospel of Luke, of which this book is a continuation.
In that Gospel Jesus presents Himself as the savior for all of humanity, Jew and Gentile.
Jesus went around teaching that the Kingdom of God was at hand and that men needed to repent from sin and be saved in order to enter it.
What should you be concerned about? The Kingdom of God!
Jesus took time to expound on the nature of that Kingdom to the apostles, then called disciples, and help them to understand.
In order to affirm the power of that Kingdom, Jesus performed many signs and miracles.
However, the greatest of them all was resurrection, after brutal suffering. He not only appeared but presented himself literally.
And just in case that wasn’t enough, he KEPT appearing! For almost a month a half he would randomly show up.
So what would you do with that type of certainity?
This world is full of people that are certain about a lot of things.
However, one of the things that was certain about Jesus was that He was doing the things he did not thru His own power but through the working of the Holy Spirit.
And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry.
Jesus, being perfectly obedient to the Spirit of God, is our example. That very same Spirit that rose Jesus from the grave.
The apostles were CERTAIN that Jesus rose and that it was the Spirit of God that empowered Him.
Imagine the excitement that boiled within them. The reality that they had in fact been with the Messiah and that He was alive forevermore. THEY WERE CONVINCED!!!
Imagine how you would function with that level of certainity....hopefully the same as you’re functioning today.
Jesus rose, not in a one time event, but kept appearing, joining you for snack time, coming & having lunch with you, interrupting movies.
And like anyone convinced of something....you’re eager to run out without being properly prepared....
TR: However, there’s the right thing to do and then there’s the right time to do it....that’s where the patience comes in...
Raise your hand if you’ve been so excited you ran into something COMPLETELY unprepared!
Some of ya’ll need to stay where you are until you get empowered to make the move you’re so eager to make.
I understand you’re convinced, I understand that you have all of the proof that you would ever need....sit down until the Lord tells you to move.
As we see in chapter 2 it’ll be undeniable when He does.
What’s interesting is that Jesus gives them a command....right after He gives what some folks call the Great Commission, to go out and make disciples, he tells his apostles to wait in Jerusalem.
Now imagine, this is the hotbed of the political environment. Jesus has been going around, being seen, rumors are spreading and without a doubt the heat is being turned up.
Jesus reminded them, that the same power that dwelt within Him, would now dwell within them.
Up until this point they had not experienced the indwelling Holy Spirit. Yet they trusted that they would be equipped to do what the Lord had called them to do.
Because what you have to say has to be done with the power of the Spirit. They had the right doctrine but did possess the power to deliver it, to face the adversity, to know how to be silent and when to speak or WHAT TO SPEAK!
You ever had the thought if I could just use what I know now in the body that I had in my teens/20s or even 30s. See your mind has the information but you’re limited and to some degree powerless to exercise it. Now imagine that spiritually…that’s what it’s like to deal with Satan without the Holy Spirit.
The reason they had to wait for the Holy Spirit is because they weren’t going to wrestle against man but against supernatural opposition.
What’s crazy is many of us still are fighting this same fight…we’re possessing the truth of the Kingdom yet either unconvinced of it’s truth or powerless in delivering it.
I know because we keep putting hope in people, systems, employment, dreams, etc. forgetting that it is the Kingdom of God that you’re a part of, not this kingdom!
So as we journey through this book, look not only at the acts themselves, but watch as the power of the Holy Spirit develops the Kingdom of God through ordinary men and women....of whom you are descendents.